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Volume 11 , Issue 3
May/June 1998

Pages 246-254

An International Comparative Multicenter Study of Assessment of Dental Appearance Using Computer-Aided Image Manipulatio

Carlsson/Wagner/Odman/Ekstrand/MacEntee/Marinello/Nanami/Ow/ Sato/Speer/Strub/Watanabe

PMID: 9728119

Purpose: The aim of the present investigation was to perform an international multicenter comparison of dental appearance as evaluated by dentists, dental technicians, and nondental subjects. Materials and Methods: The participants were drawn from three groups: 203 dentists, 197 dental technicians and 254 nondental subjects. The methods developed in a previous study in Sweden were applied again in seven centers located in six countries. A questionnaire, accompanied by five sets of comptuer-manipulated images portraying one man and one woman, was used to prompt and record responses to different aspects of dental appearance and function. Results: The questionnaire revealed that both the dental appearance and function of teeth were important to most of the participants, but three quearters of the participants did indicate that good dental function was more important than esthetics. More women (30%) than men (18%), however, placed greater importance on appearance. Age or gender did not influence judgments of the computer-manipulated images, although judgments did vary greatly within the three groups and between the centers. Nonetheless, lightly colored teeth were preferred more often by nondental subjects than be dentists or dental technicians. Conclusion: Computer-aided image manipulation shows promise as a method for investigating the significance of dental-related beliefs, especially those relating to esthetics, in different population groups. The evaluation of dental appearance and function in this study indicated that dental function is held in greater regard, and that the significance of dental appearance varies widely among dentists, dental technicians, and nondental subjects.

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